oakum

[ oh-kuh m ]
/ ˈoʊ kəm /

noun

loose fiber obtained by untwisting and picking apart old ropes, used for caulking the seams of ships.

Origin of oakum

before 1000; Middle English okome, Old English ācuma, variant of ācumba, literally, offcombings, equivalent to ā- separative prefix (see a-3) + -cumba (see comb1)
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British Dictionary definitions for oakum

oakum

/ (ˈəʊkəm) /

noun

loose fibre obtained by unravelling old rope, used esp for caulking seams in wooden ships

Word Origin for oakum

Old English ācuma, variant of ācumba, literally: off-combings, from ā- off + -cumba, from cemban to comb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012